Erika LaBrie doesn’t just love the Golden Gate Bridge. She is in love with the Golden Gate Bridge. She considers the bridge to be her boyfriend. She says the most difficult part about being in love with him is that they can never truly be sexually intimate because he is a public object.
LaBrie is one of forty people in the world known to have a sexual orientation called “Objectum Sexuality,” or OS. When they say they are in love with an object, they’re serious. They have romantic feelings for these objects and often believe the objects love them back.
People like LaBrie enter into committed relationships with objects and they view those objects as equal partners. The first object LaBrie loved was an archery bow named Lance. Her adoration was so serious and committed that it led her to become a two-time world champion in archery.
In 2004, LaBrie fell in love with another object: the Eiffel Tower. She said he was her soulmate and she married the tower in 2007. She even changed her last name to Eiffel. LaBrie believes that the relationships she has with objects are as real as any other relationship that involves two consenting adults.
To be romantically in love with an object is rare, but there are other documented cases.
While many people love their cars, Edward Smith is romantically in love with his cars. He writes his cars poetry and speaks to them like he’d speak to a human girlfriend. Edward says he has no desire to have a relationship with a human being. He claims that he is meant to love cars in this way.
Recently, psychologists began studying people who have relationships with objects. They say that childhood sexual abuse or trauma is not necessarily a factor in whether or not people are attracted to objects. However, one theory does suggest that people who suffer from OS may simply be terrified of rejection by another living, breathing human being. Because of past experiences of rejection or unrequited love, OS sufferers may believe deep down that they aren’t worthy of love.
The subconscious minds of OS sufferers may be trying to protect them from emotional pain by directing their attention and affection toward something “safe” to love like an inanimate object. Objects can’t break-up with you or cheat on you or decide one day that they don’t love you.
German sexologist Volkmar Sigusch thinks that OS is also the result of humans becoming more and more isolated from one another. He says, “More and more people either openly declare or can be seen to live without any intimate or trusting relationship with another person. Cities are populated by an entire army of socially isolated individuals…”